My Struggle with Prayer

One of the biggest things I struggle with as a Christian is Prayer. I haven’t quite figured out why it’s so hard for me. I often find myself saying, “Lord you know my needs and my heart’s desires, if it’s in your will let it be done.”

I’ve read books on prayer, Lord Teach me to Pray in 28 Days is just one of many I’ve read on the subject. If there was a Bible study class on prayer, I was there. I have a desire to have a better and deeper relationship with God or at least so I think.

As a child I remember praying the following prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I shall die when I’m wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take,
Amen.

I remember praying over my food with this prayer:

God is great and God is good.
And we thank him for our food.

By his hands we all are fed.
Thank you, Lord, for our daily bread.
God is great and God is good,
And we thank him for our food.
Amen.

Before I graduated from elementary school, I graduated to reciting the Lord’s prayer – the model prayer. I didn’t understand it in its entirety probably because I didn’t have a context for all the petitions. But even so, I prayed it. So, it’s not as though I don’t know how to pray.

I ask myself: “Why don’t I pray?”, “Why do I find it so difficult to pray?”

One answer I’ve come up with, is maybe I’m not worthy of the things I want to pray for.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be exploring those questions and more, hoping to get to the bottom of why I don’t pray.

Feel free to join me and the conversation as I ask the following questions in my quest to develop a prayer life.

  • Why should we pray?
  • If you don’t pray, does it mean you lack faith?
  • What if God says, ‘No’?
  • How do you get to know and deepen your relationship with God through prayer?
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23 thoughts on “My Struggle with Prayer

  1. hi @decision.christ i’m also christian and i find it sometimes difficult to pray but when i look at it as a normal conversation with the Lord then all i have in my heart i just say it randomly, and even more than once. i am looking forward to pray precisely for situation of life or friends. nice post

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  2. I find that you shouldn’t judge yourself for not knowing ‘how to’ pray. We all communicate differently, and that’s the same way it is with God. Just literally have a conversation with Him in prayer. Prayer isn’t about asking for something from God; it’s more than that. Prayer can just be saying thank you. Try praying throughout the day in the form of a conversation with Him. If you see a beautiful sight, say ‘God that’s so lovely. Thank you for your creation.’ That’s prayer. And that’s why your prayers as a child were so special and cherished by God – they were simple, care-free, innocent, and meaningful in so few words. Thanks for sharing this topic. It’s an area a lot of Christians struggle with!

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  3. Hey Erica. I know the feeling about not knowing “how” to pray.

    I just recently bought a book. It has helped me a lot, and I think it would benefit you as well.

    The title: When You Don’t Know What to Pray

    The author: Linda Evans Shepherd

    I hope this helps you in your prayer quest. Good luck.

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  4. You are an absolute blessing from the Lord. Only the Lord knows why He has guided me to the powerful song you posted, and which I immediately reblogged. I cannot explain how the song got on my Kindle. The Lord knows why. Anyway, I stood there and reblogged the song, I began wondering if I am violating your rights. Then I searched further, and it said “Share”…So, please let me know immediately if I am wrong. Now, in searching for more facts, I clicked on the reblog, and here is your question on Prayer. So, thank you very much, I plan to reblog it in a few minutes. In fact, my Blog is dedicated to Prayer and praying for topics that might interest millennials. In fact, my eBook, “Praying for the Unsaved Millennials in our Families” is the logo for my blog (praymillennials). My! How humble of you to share your heart about prayer. Thanks for being so transparent. Thank you for being a blessing.

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  5. Awesome post and great discussion topic. When I pray I just talk to God like He is right next to me. Don’t stress on this Jesus said the most important things are love God and love others. Not praying does not necessarily mean lack of faith it can also mean great faith. A person of great faith might not ask for anything knowing God has total control of what is going on leaving a lot of time for praising and singing to Him!

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    1. Hi Kristi, Thanks for stopping by. I will have to admit that I probably stress over prayer, praying, the right way to pray, if I’m being to selfish and host of other things; which if I were to hazard a guess is part of my prayer angst

      I’m really glad that this has turned into the discussion it has. It’s not that I didn’t know other folks struggle with prayer, but I am taken aback with the number of people willing to openly admit it.

      It’s also great to read how and what people do in order to pray. I don’t necessarily agree with folks when they say, ‘you lack fait because you don’t pray.’ There are so many reasons why people don’t and I’m not really sure that lack of faith is even in the top 5.

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  6. Yay! I found how to write a reply to you 🙂 I had to scroll down quite a bit.

    Prayer is something that I struggle with too. I found it extremely interesting that you said ‘The Childs prayer’ as a kid and that you had a similar one for blessing the food. As I grew up I always started my prayers by saying ‘Dear Heavenly Father…’ and ending in ‘I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen’ In between I would say what I was thankful for and things I hoped for for the coming day.

    Now as I am older I struggle with repetition. I read somewhere that repetition isn’t good in prayers. So now I just try to talk to God. I tell him about my day and about things that I am struggling with. I tell him what I am thankful for still. When I think of God when I am praying I think about how he knows what I am thinking about even if I don’t mention it. So if I forget something in my crazy multifaceted brain I know that he got it. Through changing and working on my style of prayer I have become closer to God. He has become more than my best friend. I confide in him more so than any mortal person.

    As for blessing my food. Lets just say I’m awful at doing so. …. I always have and probably will always say the same thing. Perhaps this will be my next goal to tackle. However this is how I bless my food… It goes like so…

    Dear Heavenly Father.
    I thank thee for this food
    and I ask that you please bless it
    that it will nourish, strengthen our bodies and minds.
    and I say these things
    In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

    (If we have guests or visitors with us I will thank the lord for them getting here safely and that I am thankful for their presence and that I hope for their safe return. )

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    1. Thanks Ashley for stopping by and the comment! Oh I definitely know about repetition. I’ve done it and heard it done. Actually, a minister just did that on Sunday. He was praying for the Veteran’s and was pretty emotional.

      I begin and end my prayers similarly. And I don’t pray over my food as much as I used to.

      I hope you’ll stop by again. 🙂

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  7. Hi, I was fortunate to have a mother who prayed regularly and taught me to pray. I was blessed to belong to a church that held regular prayer meetings. It really makes me sad when I hear about people struggling to pray as I feel it is vital to a vibrant life-giving relationship with God. Prayer takes all forms. It can be formal, it can be as casual as talking between 2 friends. Look at the Psalms – they are just passionate outpourings of anger, despair, wonder and adoration. God knows how you feel and think. Just share how you feel. Begin with your concern about prayer. Share your thoughts, concerns, frustrations. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach and help you to pray.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the kind words. It makes me sad too and it frustrates me that I have such a problem with prayer. My dad references the Psalms a lot. And I feel doubly bad about struggling with prayer since my dad is minister and it’s not that he didn’t teach or tell us that prayer can be formal or informal. I think it’s a hang up I have that I have to figure out because I know I’m missing out on a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like your honesty – don’t feel bad (i.e. condemned). Even as you sit at your computer you can speak to God in your heart or out loud and tell him how you feel. I pray you will have a breakthrough in this area and pray it will be soon. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Being brutally honest with myself is one of the reasons why I started this blog and decided not to make it a private journaling blog. I think by writing publicly and getting feedback and encouragement from you and others will help me on my journey.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. prayer got me through my brain hemorrhage last July. It has been the most rewarding and scary time of my life but it works! I prayed to live and now 1 year later I am 99% better and loving life to the fullest! Day 8 assignment of Blogging 101

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  9. Thanks for your transparency in this blog. Prayer is one of those things that I struggle with too! I’ve found recently that writing out my prayers is the only thing that keeps me focused. It also helps me see and remember things I’ve prayed for in the past. I think the reason prayer is so difficult is the reason WHY we should pray: it takes me away from my selfish inward-focused thoughts.

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    1. Thanks Ox-Cart Man, I really hope that by me being transparent I’ll be able to get answers. Interesting you should say that you write down your prayers because I thought about, but never followed through. Maybe I should reconsider that. I like your reasons for why you write them. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on why we don’t pray and it seems like there’s a consensus that folks don’t pray because you have to you out of the equation and who wants to do that.

      Hope you’ll stop by again soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I, too, struggle with praying on a regular basis. I try to remind myself to pray when things are good, not just when they’re bad. I also think just talking with God is as good, maybe better, than a formal prayer. Just my thoughts… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Michelle, my mother says the same thing. ‘Just talk to Him’. She maintains that you don’t have to get on your knees to pray in order for it to be heard.

      I definitely struggle with praying the good times, too.

      It’s definitely something we will have to keep working on.

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    2. I like how you say that just talking with God is as good, because as strange as it may seem I will give him a quick shout out in the car when I can’t close my eyes to pray. I sure seems that he hears me and stills answers them! It is amazing.

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